2012 Grammy Awards: Predictions

    Another year, another enormous awards show. The 54th Grammy Awards will be captured live on CBS this Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 P.M. As we’ve done in the past, here are some predictions for who will be walking away with what. Keep in mind that, as there are 78 categories, the list below is neutered. If there’s anything you agree or disagree with (and there will be)–or if you simply have something to say, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or five.

    Record of the Year

    Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”

    Bon Iver – “Holocene”

    Bruno Mars – “Grenade”

    Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

    Katy Perry – “Firework”

    Will win: Adele has a better chance at losing this one versus taking it home. Although she, more than any of her listed competitors, had the biggest impact on 2011 through the success of her album 21, an upset could be pulled by Bon Iver or, next likely, Mumford & Sons.

    Should win: Even though it’s going to be hard to deny “Rolling in the Deep,” this award is more of a nod to the engineers rather than the artists themselves. That said, if another nominee has to knock Adele out, it’ll be Bon Iver and the very pretty, melancholic “Holocene.”

     

    Album of the Year

    Adele – 21

    Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

    Lady Gaga – Born This Way

    Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans

    Rihanna – Loud

    Will win: Adele, hands down. Her album has topped the charts for 20 weeks and has sold millions upon millions of copies (6.4 million and counting). Plus, her singles have all been huge radio hits, and not without merit.

    Should win: The way I see it, the most legitimate win outside of 21 is Wasting Light. While it might sound like a longshot, the Foo Fighters could be this year’s Arcade Fire. Could be. That said, everyone knows the real way to beat Adele in this category would have been to not snub Kanye for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

    Song of the Year

    Kanye West f. Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie – “All of the Lights” (Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters)

    Mumford & Sons – “The Cave” (Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters)

    Bruno Mars – “Grenade” (Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters)

    Bon Iver – “Holocene” (Justin Vernon, songwriter)

    Adele – “Rolling in the Deep” (Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters)

     

    Will win: Going with Adele again. I heard that damn song everywhere, and the only reason I call it “that damn song” is because I heard it everywhere, all the time. If she doesn’t get it, it will be a surprise. But if it’s a surprise, it could end up in Bruno Mars’ hands.

    Should win: “All of the Lights,” a great song off a superb album that sees West’s vision in beautiful, dark, top form.

     

    Best New Artist

    The Band Perry

    Bon Iver

    J. Cole

    Nicki Minaj

    Skrillex

     

    Will win: Even though J. Cole’s boss is a leading member of the entertainment Illuminati, I can’t see this one going to him. Bon Iver and the Band Perry are not new acts, and the Grammys won’t give this award to a dubstep producer (yet). Yep, that leaves Nicki Minaj, who’s only dropped one official album, Pink Friday, and has been featured on a number of hits including Kanye West’s “Monster.”

    Should win: Minaj. She had a big year in 2011, is signed to a label that also boasts superstars Drake and Lil Wayne, and managed a good deal of hip-pop songs that were accessible to a broad age range. Plus, I want to see her walk to the stage to accept her award.

    Best Pop Solo Performance

    Adele – “Someone Like You”

    Lady Gaga – “Yoü and I”

    Bruno Mars – “Grenade”

    Katy Perry – “Firework”

    Pink – “Fuckin’ Perfect”

     

    Will win: For a song as pervasive as “Grenade,” Bruno Mars is going to have to win something. Obviously, all of these songs had their moments in 2011, but “Grenade” probably had the biggest tie to American culture, as it was peak-popular around the time the Jersey Shore cast was bringing home grenades and calling them cabs soon after. If you don’t get that reference, you probably disagree with me here.

    Should win: I don’t care what your argument is, Lady Gaga should be all over this one. Even though she doesn’t do it as often as some would like her to, the girl can belt with serious effect (listen to “Speechless”). And this song? Dive-bar angst, a guitar solo from Queen’s Brian May and single artwork that features Gaga’s male alter ego: “Yoü and I” is my choice. However, the most obvious threat is (of course) Adele.

     

    Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

    Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse – “Body and Soul”

    The Black Keys – “Dearest”

    Coldplay – “Paradise”

    Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

    Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera – “Moves Like Jagger”

     

    Will win: Plenty of good vocalists here, but I think the clear choice for a Grammy is Bennett/Winehouse. If you don’t know–and it’d be hard to believe you didn’t–Amy Winehouse is no longer with us, so this is probably her last chance to win. Terrible as that may sound, “Body and Soul” wasn’t released until after her death, and this seems like the appropriate way to honor the voice and commemorate the life of a tragic pop figure such as she.

    Should win: Still going with the Tony Bennett duet, but if anyone snags it from him, it will be Coldplay–possibly Maroon 5.

    Best Pop Vocal Album

    Adele – 21

    Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer

    Lady Gaga – Born This Way

    Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans

    Rihanna – Loud

     

    Will win: Adele. Best Pop Vocal Album. It’s tough because all of these artists performed very well in regards to singles, but let’s just be straight (no anti-Gaga), 2011 was Adele’s year.

    Should win: I know it seems like she’s going to win almost everything she’s nominated for, but Adele is probably going to win pretty much everything she’s nominated for. Bruno Mars and Rihanna are least likely to take this home, and Cee Lo isn’t going to get this award for an album whose success was spearheaded by a song called “Fuck You.” It’s between Adele and Gaga and the former’s most definitely got it locked.

     

    Best Dance Recording

    Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech – “Raise Your Weapon”

    Duck Sauce – “Barbara Streisand”

    David Guetta & Avicii – “Sunshine”

    Robyn – “Call Your Girlfriend”

    Skrillex – “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”

    Swedish House Mafia – “Save the World”

     

    Will win: Robyn and “Call Your Girlfriend.” As 2010 saw the release of her Body Talk trilogy, this past year was really Robyn’s for the taking. She’s been in the industry longer than you think, and her more recent releases have garnered plenty of acclaim from fans and critics alike.

    Should win: Duck Sauce, a DJ duo made up of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak, brought club music (and a funny video–almost as good as Swedish House Mafia’s) to the general public with “Barbara Streisand,” and it could be the rug pulled from under Robyn’s feet.

     

    Best Dance/Electronica Album

    Cut Copy – Zonoscope

    Deaudmau5 – 4×4=12

    David Guetta – Nothing But the Beat

    Robyn – Body Talk, Pt. 3

    Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites

     

    Will win: Deadmau5 and the nonstop ecstasy party that is 4×4=12. It’s got the most forward energy of the nominees, and I feel like its directness will appeal to indecisive voters split between the drastically different styles of dance (e.g. Cut Copy v. Skrillex) that could be taking place.

    Should win: There is something about Robyn. For whatever reason, she sounds the most like ‘dance music’ to me. It’s the singing. If that sounds like bias then so be it. But because of Body Talk, Pt. 3 and its lead single, “Indestructible,” Robyn needs to–deserves to–take this one.

    Best Rock Performance

    Coldplay – “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”

    The Decemberists – “Down By the Water”

    Foo Fighters – “Walk”

    Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

    Radiohead – “Lotus Flower”

     

    Will win: Going with Mumford & Sons here, despite the praise Coldplay received for Mylo Xyloto. “The Cave” is a hard-working song and wasn’t even Mumford’s first single off 2009’s Sigh No More; “Every Teardrop” was Coldplay’s first release off Xyloto–if they were going to win this category, they’d have been nominated for “Paradise.”

    Should win: The Foo Fighters are certified legends at this point. And because it’s realistic that they won’t beat out Adele for Album of the Year, they’ve got a better shot in this category, where the competition is a little less stiff.

     

    Best Alternative Music Album

    Bon Iver – Bon Iver

    Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys

    Foster The People – Torches

    My Morning Jacket – Circuital

    Radiohead – The King Of Limbs

     

    Will win: Last year, the Black Keys took this one based on the strength of a single (“Tighten Up”) and the year before that, Phoenix did the same thing. Going off that pattern, I think Foster The People will snag this thanks to their painfully catchy and rather morbid single, “Pumped Up Kicks.”

    Should win: Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs. With five nominations over the course of the night and a genuinely good album behind them, Thom Yorke and the boys ought to win something for the album with the most silent release of 2011.

    Best Rap Performance

    Chris Brown f. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne – “Look At Me Now”

    Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Otis”

    Lupe Fiasco – “The Show Goes On”

    Nicki Minaj f. Drake – “Moment 4 Life”

    Wiz Khalifa – “Black and Yellow”

     

    Will win: These are all good songs, but not giving this to “Otis” would be like knocking an ice cream cone out of a little girl’s hands. Wiz didn’t really reach the same peak witha anything after “Black and Yellow,” and and Nicki/Drake put out a better collab with “Up All Night.” While Lupe and Chris Brown’s songs both feature stellar production, “Otis” sees Kanye West revisiting the soul-sampling style that got him noticed in the first place.

    Should win: Please, see above.

    Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

    Beyoncé f. André 3000 – “Party”

    DJ Khaled f. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne – “I’m On One”

    Dr. Dre f. Eminem & Skylar Grey – “I Need A Doctor”

    Rihanna f. Drake – “What’s My Name”

    Kelly Rowland f. Lil Wayne – “Motivation”

    Kanye West f. Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie – “All of the Lights”

     

    Will win: Again, each nominee has something to offer here. But when it comes down to it, I see this as a competition between “I’m On One,” “All of the Lights” and “I Need A Doctor.” A close call, but I really hope it isn’t the latter–but, better that “Doctor” be nominated over Dre’s “Kush.” Nevertheless, I’m going with Kanye.

    Should win: “I’m On One.” As much as I don’t want to hear DJ Khaled talk–let alone give a Grammy speech–this song feels very representative of last year, though it’ll be tough to beat “Lights.”

    Best Rap Album

    Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

    Lil Wayne – The Carter IV

    Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

    Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday

    Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

     

    Will win: Jay and Kanye. Definitely not The Carter IV, Lasers or Pink Friday. The competition here is between Jay and Kanye and Kanye.

    Should win: MBDTF. As bug budget and awesome as WTT was, Kanye’s solo album was better, end of story. Really though, he deserves this after not being nominated for Album of the Year. Either way, you’re going to have to bite your lip and listen to Kanye accept something.

    West’s “Dark Fantasy”

    Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

    Danger Mouse

    Paul Epworth

    The Smeezingtons

    Ryan Tedder

    Butch Vig

     

    Will win: Danger Mouse took this last year, but this time around I think it’ll be Paul Epworth, who produced hits for Adele, Cee Lo Green and Foster The People. If it isn’t him, it could be The Smeezingtons, who were literally behind almost every track Bruno Mars appeared on in 2011.

    Should win: Butch Vig. As a drummer, his drums are always loud. But given that he only produced the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light last year, loud drums–played by the masterful Taylor Hawkins–worked.